Professor Jed Shugerman‘s expert opinion was quoted in The Independent in an article examining President Trump’s election lawsuits and the Supreme Court.
Despite his legal team racking up an unprecedented string of more than 50 losses before some of the most conservative jurists in America, Donald Trump still thinks the Supreme Court will find a way to keep him in office. But those who know the Court best — legal experts and some of his top White House lawyers — say his confidence stems from a fundamental misunderstanding, bordering on a delusion, about the 418 men and women who’ve been named to the bench by Republican presidents.
Speaking at a White House Hanukkah reception for supporters on Wednesday, Trump told his guests that a victory in his push to throw out election results was close at hand. Texas (now joined by a number of Republican-controlled states) had just filed a lawsuit against Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin at the Supreme Court (which has jurisdiction to hear disputes between individual states), and he was apparently confident this would overturn Joe Biden’s win.
Jed Shugerman, a law professor and legal historian who teaches at Fordham University Law School, said Trump is right “on some level” in his assumption that judging in modern America has partisan aspects on both the left and the right.
“But even if he’s right, he has no clue about the limits to that naked partisanship,” he said, noting that Trump is both “so fundamentally ignorant about the basics of law” that he thought he could end the special counsel probe into links between his 2016 campaign and Russia with a settlement. Trump is, Shugerman added, very used to viewing his relationships as transactions.
“His whole life has been transactions and expectations have some degree of loyalty, and that’s a total misunderstanding of what to expect from the three justices he appointed, as well as a misunderstanding of [Justices] Alito, Thomas and Roberts,” he said. “They’re not going to burn down their court to rescue Donald Trump… they’re neither stupid nor crazy. And for them to do what Trump’s asking them to do, they would have to be both stupid and crazy.”